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Army of Me

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Biography

Army of Me frontman Vince Scheuerman's early years were not made of the parents-with-great-record-collections stuff most readers of rock star biographies are used to stumbling across, but that shouldn't count him and his three bandmates out as serious contenders for indie-alternative greatness. Born into a religious cult in Gaithersburg, MD, Scheuerman and bassist John Hutchins grew up together and became friends as children. Both characterize their upbringings in the cult as "repressive and damaging." By the time they were 17, the two were playing together around Maryland in various bands and recruited drummer Dennis Manuel. Later, the trio added guitarist Brad Tursi. Rather than pouring all his energy into music, Scheuerman detoured from playing semi-seriously for an education in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. While his training in science earned him a degree and, for a brief period, a job peering at atoms thorough a microscope, his difficulties adjusting to mainstream culture never quite left him — for the singer/songwriter/guitarist, music became an outlet for all that stung in the secular world. By 2002, Army of Me was touring extensively on the East Coast. After three years of sharing stages with better-known bands such as Hot Hot Heat, Good Charlotte, Coldplay, the Strokes, Ben Lee, and the Vines, their recording of demos had sold 7,000 copies. (The band also released an EP, Fake Ugly, through Florida-based indie Pop Up Records in early 2004.) Touring had become a full-time job for the band, and despite collecting numerous "best unsigned band" accolades by 2005, Army of Me still remained without a recording contract by the year's end. That all changed in March 2006 when the guys finally inked a deal with Doghouse Records; around that same time, Hutchins amicably parted ways with the group. With Army of Me continuing on, the Rise EP appeared that November, which was followed in April 2007 by their debut full-length, Citizen. The album was supported by a tour with new member Conrado Bokoles on bass.